Guidance for Health Care Workers Who Recently Traveled or have Travel Plans

 

 

Submitted by the ND Dept. of Health 3/20/2020 - Download the pdf here.

 

Screening for Health Care Workers: complete this form if an employee has recently (within the past 14 days) traveled or has signs or symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19.

 

Guidance for Health Care Workers Who Recently Traveled or have Travel Plans

Should health care workers travel out-of-state?


The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) STRONGLY discourages domestic and international air OR cruise travel for all North Dakotans at this time. It is especially important that health care workers discontinue air travel to avoid potential furlough from work. Health care workers should also not travel via car or other method to areas of the United States with widespread community transmission.


I recently traveled internationally or on a cruise, now what should I do?
If you have traveled to a country with widespread community transmission or returned from a cruise in the past 14 days, you need to implement home isolation for 14 days after arriving home. Please see CDC’s travel website for information about COVID-19 transmission outside and inside of the U.S.
• Notify your occupational health nurse or infection control nurse at your facility.
• You are recommended to monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days.
• Practice social distancing and avoid contact with others.
• Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
• Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
• Complete an online NDDoH Travel Survey.


I recently traveled to an area with limited transmission of COVID-19, now what should I do?
Please see CDC’s travel website for information about COVID-19 transmission outside and inside of the U.S.
• Notify your occupational health nurse or infection control nurse at your facility.
• You do not need to implement home isolation and may return to work (unless your employer implements stricter guidelines).
• You are recommended to monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days.
• You will need to wear a mask at work for seven days following travel.
• Practice social distancing and avoid contact with others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
• Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
• Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public. Staying home is best!


This guidance does not include health care workers who live in border states but work at North Dakota health care facilities. It DOES include locums who have not yet arrived.


What are the signs and symptoms of novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The most common symptoms of novel coronavirus are fever and cough, sometimes difficulty breathing, more rarely sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose. These symptoms can also be due to many other illnesses. If you develop a fever or any symptoms, it doesn’t mean you have COVID-19, but you should contact your health care provider for testing. You should also notify your occupational health nurse or infection control nurse at your facility.


How should you monitor your health after travel?
You should take your temperature and assess yourself for symptoms daily. Instructions for monitoring your temperature and symptoms:
• Take your temperature (use as directed in the thermometer instructions) 2 times a day: once in the morning and again in the evening.
• You should also check your temperature anytime you feel like you have a fever or feel feverish.
• Document your temperature twice a day, every day: if you forget to take your temperature, take it as soon as you remember.
• Document your symptoms of COVID-19 every day.
• If you have fever, 100.4°F or higher (99.6°F for those who are immunocompromised or age 70 and older) or any symptom listed on the form, notify your occupational health nurse or infection control nurse at your facility.


What should I do if I become ill during this monitoring period?
Unless it is an emergency, DO NOT GO to a clinic or hospital without first calling the facility. Calling first will help the clinic or hospital prepare to greet you and take care of you in the safest possible way. If you must go to the hospital before calling, notify staff immediately that you are being monitored for COVID-19. Notify your occupational health nurse or infection control nurse at your facility.


Home Isolation:
You may remain in your usual home setting while monitoring yourself for COVID-19. If possible, avoid sharing a bathroom with other members of the household. Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible and prohibit visitors. Also be sure not to share drinks or utensils. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. For information about your household contacts, see Recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers in a nonhealthcare setting.


I was tested for COVID-19 and my results are in…
If your test results indicate that you DO have COVID-19, remain in home isolation until the risk of secondary transmission is low. Follow CDC’s guidelines for removal from isolation.


If not tested for COVID-19, you should be sent home until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) AND at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.


If your test results indicate that you DO NOT have COVID-19, you should still remain in home isolation for at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

 

For more information, visit www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

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